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WATCH LIVE: Sen. Wendy Davis continues filibuster on abortion bill | kvue.com Austin

So currently there is a filibuster in to block the vote on a abortion law in Texas. This thread is not about the abortion law and is instead about filibusters themselves.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure where debate is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal. It is sometimes referred to as talking out a bill,[1] and characterized as a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body. The English term "filibuster" derives from the Spanish filibustero, itself deriving originally from the Dutch vrijbuiter, "privateer, pirate, robber" (also the root of English "freebooter"[2]). The Spanish form entered the English language in the 1850s, as applied to military adventurers from the United States then operating in Central America and the Spanish West Indies such as William Walker.[3][4]
The term in its legislative sense was first used by Democratic congressman Albert G. Brown of Mississippi in 1853, referring to Abraham Watkins Venable's speech against "filibustering" intervention in Cuba.[5]


From: Filibuster in the United States Senate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


A filibuster in the United States Senate usually refers to any dilatory or obstructive tactics used to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote. The most common form of filibuster occurs when a senator attempts to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a bill by extending the debate on the measure, but other dilatory tactics exist. The rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, unless "three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn"[1] (usually 60 out of 100 senators) brings debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII.
According to the Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Ballin (1892), changes to Senate rules could be achieved by a simple majority. Nevertheless, under current Senate rules, a rule change itself could be filibustered, with the votes of two-thirds of those senators present and voting (as opposed to the normal three-fifths of those sworn) needed to end debate.[1] Despite this written requirement, the possibility exists that the Senate's presiding officer could on motion declare a Senate rule unconstitutional, which decision can be upheld by a simple majority vote of the Senate.


So what are the thoughts of those both outside of the US and from the US itself on the subject? Does this practice help the people like it did in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ? Or is it something that is dragging down the process of the government? Maybe a mixture of both?
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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"Oh I don't have any actual new reasoning or in some cases valid reasoning as to why this is a bad idea, I just don't like it so I'm going to bore you all till you agree with me just to shut me up"?

Politcal childishness at it's finest.
 

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If the filibuster is part of the rules that govern the legislative body, I don't really have a problem with it. Government is best when it is doing least anyway.

I am just getting tired of whomever's TEAM is in charge whining like a baby when the filibuster is used against them, but then will laud its' usage when their own group is holding up legislation they don't like. (see Dems hating the filibuster now, when it was their best friend from 2000-2008 and the Repubs hating it from 2000-2008 and loving it now).

If a legislative body wants to get rid of their filibuster procedures, just do it in the daylight and within the rules of the body. Don't play backdoor games to get around it.
 

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I am just getting tired of whomever's TEAM is in charge whining like a baby when the filibuster is used against them, but then will laud its' usage when their own group is holding up legislation they don't like.
Agreed. Rules are rules and should be applied equally. I oppose abortion, but at least the woman in Texas actually performed a filibuster rather than just call filibuster like they tend to do in the US Senate.
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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The 'call filabuster' bullshit in congress is what gets me.
If you want to actually stand up and perform a marathon 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington' style filabuster and go on record and cspan to stand up for your point, fine, that's how it was meant to be.

But this nonsense that anyone can just say 'filabuster' without having to do it just makes it so nothing gets done. It takes a 51% vote to pass a law, but a 60% majority to override a 'filabuster' to just let the thing come to a vote.

If you want to call a filabuster in congress then you should have the strength of conviction to actually perform one and the willingness to go in record and on CSPAN and be seen as the person holding up the legislation
 

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The 'call filabuster' bullshit in congress is what gets me.
If you want to actually stand up and perform a marathon 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington' style filabuster and go on record and cspan to stand up for your point, fine, that's how it was meant to be.

But this nonsense that anyone can just say 'filabuster' without having to do it just makes it so nothing gets done. It takes a 51% vote to pass a law, but a 60% majority to override a 'filabuster' to just let the thing come to a vote.

If you want to call a filabuster in congress then you should have the strength of conviction to actually perform one and the willingness to go in record and on CSPAN and be seen as the person holding up the legislation
Which I agree with because I like the idea of shutting down debate by talking :), but that is not the rules that the Senate themselves have set. Until they are willing to change the rules (which they won't because the leadership of both sides have been in the minority at one time or another) the "called" Filibuster is the law of the Senate.

I actually don't have a problem with a 60% rule for laws...in my book all laws should require a 60% or 66% margin to pass. 50+1 majority rule does far more to promote back room deals and picking off legislators who are marginal in order to pass bad laws and encourage the sort of entrenched partisanship we have now. Super majorities would require laws that are palpable across a wider spectrum of legislators and would (hopefully) create a better environment in the legislative bodies. (Not to mention a number of other changes, but have nothing to do with a filibuster and a 60% majority)
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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The ridiculous part is the rule in congress is simple majority. If more than half the senators manage to agree (no mean feat) it becomes a law. But to even GET TO that vote, you need a 60% to override the now seemingly automatic 'called' filabuster. That's what gets me

If the rule was things require a 60% margin to pass that would be one thing, but needing 60% before you even GET TO VOTE? That's stupid.
 

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Yeah, I'll agree with Galahad. A filibuster isn't a terrible thing on it's own, it's how it is used and how much it is used.

The problem in the US senate is that everything gets filibustered, and it's so easy to put a secret hold on things that it's done as just a matter of course. There are federal judge nominations that haven't gotten hearing, let alone a vote, in over two years because of that sort of bullshit (and it might actually be affecting the Battlefoam vs Blood of Kittens case, as Arizona has a federal judge shortage).

But this filibuster by Davis? That was pretty interesting to watch. It probably won't stop the bill dead (it can always just be reintroduced), but it'll delay it, and bring it into focus as an issue. It wasn't about blocking regular functions of government, but about contesting one piece of legislation, which is what the filibuster was meant for originally.

Republicans, for their part, lied and broke the rules of order in order to try to pretend it passed, quite blatantly in front of 170,000 people watching online. After they shut down the filibuster by saying that talking about forced sonograms wasn't "Germane" to the discussion of Abortion regulations, they passed the bill too late anyway (ignoring points of order that had to be addressed first), and then retroactively altered the time stamp on the vote to say it had passed during the session (it had not). Eventually, enough people called them on it that they admitted it had failed, but they held out for quite a while. I suppose it just goes to shows how dodgy state politics can be.
 

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The filibuster needs to be stopped. A time limit on how long someone can talk would do it. People standing up and talking for 14 hours about nothing is a waste of tax payers money.
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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The sick thing is in congress at least you don;t even need to talk. You just have one person call it and it's as good as snuffed.
 

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I really can't see how extending a debate for no other reason than to stop a vote being taken has any useful role in a legislative assembly.

The house majority was put there by the people so over turning that majority by abusing the "rules" of the assembly is basically undemocratic.
 

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Interesting use of the word "works"
 

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Executive Nitpicker
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Sadly, that's about how it goes.
 

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I think this "filibuster" is about as useful to the democratic process as a chocolate covered chamber pot. Sort out what majority it needs to make things law, and vote on the issue. Majority carries the day, or it isn't being democratic.....
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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I think this "filibuster" is about as useful to the democratic process as a chocolate covered chamber pot. Sort out what majority it needs to make things law, and vote on the issue. Majority carries the day, or it isn't being democratic.....
This relies on the idea that the majority party has been elected fairly by an actual majority of the population and is actually representing the people who voted for them. Name me one country where this is the case.

Also:



Sums up most political bodies I think.
 

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Bane of Empires
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I always remember, years ago, my A-Level politics teacher had an example of a senator listing his family's cake recipes (having had prior training to talk for so long) for almost a full day which acted as a filibuster...

Quite a ridiculous political tool really. But then, democratic institutions are hardly renowned for their practicality.

As for the question: are they a "useful tool for the people?" Well, if a bill can only be stopped by enacting a filibuster and not by an actual vote, then surely, on some level, democracy (as utilised by the US in this case) is being impeded?

Oh, and from what I've read/seen, Rick Perry is a fucking idiot.
 

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Well, if a bill can only be stopped by enacting a filibuster and not by an actual vote, then surely, on some level, democracy (as utilised by the US in this case) is being impeded?
I don't know much about politics, but that's what got me about filibustering. We're a democracy (well, republic), so the majority vote is how we get things done, right? More of us want to do something (or not do something), so that's what we ought to do, right?

Filibustering seems to be turning that on its head. Could someone enlighten me?
 

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The filibuster needs to be stopped. A time limit on how long someone can talk would do it. People standing up and talking for 14 hours about nothing is a waste of tax payers money.
Here is the question though Djinn. With the way the goverments going would you rather have a 14 hour filibuster or 3 new tax laws that suck more money off your paycheck every week. Think about it.

As for me I personally think it's a good process to have. It's a necessary part of the checks and balances to our system, and is one of the few rules laid out in the Constitution that is still respected by law makers and politicians on both sides. If they were to do away with it I'd fly myself out to the first Democratic country I could find.
 
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